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Four potential Joao Palhinha replacements

17th June 2024

Joao Palhinha shoots on goal during the Premier League match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage. Rights obtained from IMAGO.

In his debut article, Cameron Donaldson looks at who the Whites could look at to replace their Portuguese talisman.

In recent weeks it’s become increasingly inevitable that Joao’s going to get his transfer to Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old agreed the move last summer and did all the media with Bayern before we pulled the plug. This summer, personal terms have already been agreed but Fulham value the player at £60m. With Vincent Kompany’s side currently offering around £40m, this fee could prove to be a stumbling block; however it is important to assess the replacements Fulham have been linked with and how successful they could be in filling the void left by Joao.

Kalvin Phillips

This rumour has recently been circulating in the past week, with Tony Khan assessing Kalvin Phillips’s suitability. This rumour might worry Fulham fans, with Phillips’s disastrous loan spell at West Ham his most recent exploit in the Premier League, conceding penalties and making game-changing errors before being dropped with 10 appearances in that loan spell.

It’s also notable to say that although Phillips played some very good football when he was deployed in the six at Leeds United, some of his best football came at Euro 2020 when he played in the eight for England, receiving plaudits for some of his displays. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that although Phillips has some potential to fill some of the void left by Joao, his lack of quality recent football and the notion that he may not be an out and out combative six as Joao was, indicates that this transfer would be a risk.

Vinicius Souza

Although this name may fill some with dread, noting Sheffield United’s disastrous season, it’s important to indicate that Joao’s biggest rival in tackling stats in the Premier League this season has been the 25-year-old Brazilian. Souza is a combative presence, with 125 tackles in the league last season and a 61% tackle success rate. He also made 981 passes, with an 80% pass accuracy for the Blades. Therefore, the Brazilian may be ideal to break down the play and launch Fulham attacks, similar to Joao.

Souza also stands at 187cm, with Joao at 190cm, with the similar height therefore indicating potential for a similar aerial presence. Should Souza look for a move this summer, Fulham could prove to be an ideal location, however with the number of Sheffield United players out of contract this summer, it may take a sizeable fee for Chris Wilder to part ways with the midfielder.


Yes, it Is the return of the Andre transfer saga, with Fulham seemingly launching another bid to capture the Brazilian. With a potential £20–30m fee, many Fulham fans have been excited about the potential opportunity to secure the young Brazilian’s services. The midfielder has impressed for Flamengo in the league, as well as against Manchester City in the Club World Cup.

Many have concluded for a while that Andre would be a talented and shrewd investment for the Whites, with huge potential for growth in the future, however there may be doubts about his ability to solely replace Joao. Some have indicated that he may be an ideal box to box partner for Joao, rather than a deep-lying defensive midfielder and the transition from Brazilian football to Premier League football is a notable one, however due to the massive potential provided by this player, Fulham should look to push for a deal on this one.

Morten Hjulmand

Another move that has been rumoured to be on the cards is that of Morten Hjulmand. This move may be unlikely as the 24-year-old Dane was pivotal to Sporting Lisbon’s success in the Liga Portugal last season, and also happens to be the club who provided us with Joao – so they may be reluctant to further boost our armoury. Hjulmand had a 62% tackle success rate from last season with Sporting, as well as 87% pass accuracy, both of which are higher in comparison to Joao for Fulham, however it’s important to note the dominance that Sporting had in Liga Portugal last season, which Fulham will not be able to offer. With Hjulmand being 24, the Dane has a few more years before he hits his prime and therefore with the opportunity for growth, this could be a shrewd investment.

It’s clear that the Whites are busy looking at Palhinha replacements, with some names linked being more credible than others. Joao will provide the club with a sizeable fee and Marco has shown he has an ability to adapt and help the club overcome the losses of notable names, so fans will be hoping that we sign a big name and Tony Khan provides Silva with all the tools for another successful Premier League season.

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